Commenting on the discussion around budget implications at the NHS England Board meeting today, Dr Chaand Nagpaul, BMA council chair, said:
“It is deeply worrying that the body with responsibility for running the NHS is warning of the service's inability to meet national standards of care. Unfortunately, it is patients who are unfairly suffering the consequences of a clearly underfunded service. Waiting time targets for hospital care haven’t been met for years and patients face growing delays to see their GP as general practice struggles to cope with demand.
“Doctors always want to deliver the best possible care for our patients, but we can’t continuously plug gaps by penny pinching and poaching from elsewhere in an overstretched service. Ministers must listen to the warnings of doctors, and to the NHS’ own leaders, and take urgent steps to put the NHS on a sustainable footing.”
Notes to editors
The British Medical Association (BMA) is the voice of doctors and medical students in the UK. It is an apolitical, professional organisation and independent trade union, representing doctors and medical students from all branches of medicine across the UK and supporting them to deliver the highest standards of care.
- The BMA is calling for spending on the NHS to rise to match that of other leading EU economies. We have defined ‘comparable European countries’ as the top 10 leading EU economies, based on their level of economic development. The 10 leading EU countries based on GDP per capita are: Germany; France; Belgium; Denmark; Austria; Netherlands; Ireland; Italy; Sweden and Finland. Using the most recent OECD data, this means that the UK would spend 10.4% of GDP on health instead of the 9.8%. If the UK had spent as much on health as the average of these countries £10.3 billion more would have been spent in 2015. This could rise to as much as an extra £22.9 billion by 2022/23.